It can sometimes be surprising how important the little things are; things you don’t often think about or consider. Saving a receipt, for instance – the one you chuck straight in the bin, thinking, “I’ll never need this…” is always the one you need. And don’t get us started on stocking up on flea treatments for the cat. “I’ll pick it up next time I’m here…” soon leads to itchy bites and an infestation.
Keeping on top of these little things is hard. Life gets in the way. And it’s the same in eLearning – if we’re not careful, we overlook the little things a few too many times and soon we’re knee-deep in the bog of eternal stench with no obvious way out.
Think about it. You spend a bit too long on one aspect of your eLearning module – say, picking the best images or creating a gorgeous-looking bar graph – and have to sacrifice a well thought-out quiz section for some really basic multiple choice questions in order to meet the deadline. Once, and it might not matter too much; but keep doing it and you’ll soon discover just how important it is that learners’ knowledge is properly tested!
There are a few ways that you can make sure you stay on top of these things:
It might seem like you’re adding more work initially, but setting out your eLearning plan before you properly start working on it can really help in the long run. Not only will you be able to make sure each section is completed, but if you add timeframes into the list you can see how long you should be spending on each element in order to hit deadlines. If you have 4 hours left and you know that an awesome quiz will take 2.5 hours to complete, you won’t spend longer than the stipulated 1.5 hours sourcing images and making the eLearning unit look pretty.
One way to make sure the little niggly details aren’t overlooked is to be consistent. Pick your preferred style and stick with it – that way you won’t need to think about it each time. For example, decide whether you want to tell learners to ‘Click here to go to the next slide’ or just provide a clickable arrow to do the same. Once you’ve decided, use that format throughout the eLearning module. Not only does it make your job easier and allow you to think about other, more important things, but it makes the learning journey less confusing for learners, too.
Think like a learner
To really create great eLearning, you need to get under the skin of a learner and think like they do. If you were taking the eLearning module, what would you like to see? How much would you care about the colour of the title, or the size of the ‘Next’ arrow? Is it really important that every image is square? Once you begin to think like a learner, you’ll discover which details are really important – and which are barely noticed.
Striking the correct balance of attention to detail versus working efficiently can be tricky, but once achieved you’ll find the quality of your eLearning increases tremendously.
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